October 11, 2020

02

22-Acre Woods 10/08/2020 — Indian Land, South Carolina
Trump is forever whining about how 
unfairly he is being treated.

I take that to mean he thinks he should be 
awarded the Nobel Peace Prize,
and be accorded the honor and admiration 
he thinks he deserves.

Whatever he thinks,
he recognizes the importance of fairness
and bemoans not being granted his share.
It is a justice issue.
Trump quickly recognizes injustice
as a recipient. 
He has no awareness whatsoever of injustice
as a dispenser. 

"I acknowledge no responsibility!"
That's Trump's trump card.
Trump trumps everything playing that one.

I wish I had a trump card like that.
It's not fair.

But I recognize the absurdity of thinking that 
wanting something has some mystical association
with receiving the thing.
That kind of thinking comes with wealth and privilege.
More wealth and privilege than I'm interested in.

An aside: Some people can't get enough wealth and privilege,
others need only enough to get their work done.
The people who can't get enough,
have no work to do.
Apparently, their idea is to avoid all work entirely,
and go through life wallowing in wealth and privilege.
As Jesus might say, "They have their reward."

All I want is enough wealth and privilege to do my work.
Not enough wealth and privilege is a distraction,
and too much wealth and privilege is also a distraction.
The sweet spot, you might say,
is enough to buy the tools our work requires
but not so much that it gets in the way.

And we have to know what our work is,
what we live to do,
and be about it.
Joseph Campbell said the blessing of getting older
is the ability to refine what is truly important
down to the absolute essentials
and the time to spend your life with those things.
He was absolutely correct about that,
and I relish each day as another opportunity
to enjoy the presence of those things which matter most.

May you be blessed in a similar way
throughout what remains of the time to be lived 
on your life!

–0–

01

Hammock Creek — Pamlico Sound, Ocracoke Island, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, North Carolina
Wanting what we have no business having
is the bane of our existence.

Desire,
Fear,
and Duty
burden us with concerns
that are not our concern.

Contriving to have something else,
something better,
something more
keeps us from the joy 
of the day-to-day.

We are our own worst enemy.

Nothing can happen to us
that we can't make worse
by the way we respond to it.

If we are ever going to be happy,
contented,
well-pleased
and at peace,
it is going to start right here, 
right now.

The only thing keeping that from happening
is the way we think about things.

Our judgments.
Our opinions.
Our evaluations.
Our expectations.
Our default dissatisfaction.
Combine to prevent us 
from being able to delight
in simple pleasures,
and dismiss
concerns that are not our concern.

An old Taoist self-help manual says,
"Noble people are calm,
joyful,
and not contrived,
without cunning or ulterior motives.
This means being empty and plain."
And,
"Private interest is what corrupts the world."
And,
"What is not one's path is not taken,
even if profitable."

2,000 years later,
they still ring true.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters, three sons-in-law, and five granddaughters, and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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